Twisting its way up the mountain some more and our van made a stop at the Great House. A $2 ticket will allow you to enter this estate which sits several hundreds of feet above the bays. You can stand on the outdoor observation deck and see Magens Bay. The view there is so breathtaking

We then went to Drake's Seat. This is where Sir Francis Drake sat to watch his fleet sail into the bay and spy on other boats as they approached the island.
The van picked us up and dropped us off in Charlotte Amalie for a couple of hours of lunch and shopping. Time was too short for us to really shop there so we went back to the ship without any new purchase.

Another great day! It was depressing to think we only have three days left.

Cruising the Eastern Caribbean (Day 4)
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Port of Call on this day was St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Since Lee had felt a lot better, we decided to go ashore and after a quick breakfast, we left the ship around 10 AM.

The government here built a new dock last year at Crown Bay to accommodate the Oasis-of-the-Seas and the dock is a few miles away from Charlotte Amalie, where the other ships dock. For your reference, Charlotte Amalie is more convenient to cruisers as it is just steps away from the downtown shopping area.

We saw several of these lizards on the rocks
Streets in St Thomas are hilly and narrow, and vehicles are driven on the left side of the street.

Our driver, a Palestinian by the name of Sayed, took us to the typical tourist spots for us to take pictures. The van threaded its way up the mountain and we saw awesome views of the bay below.

The water was calm, clear, and so blue. At one stop, we had a clear view of Crown Bay and there, our ship sat majestically among other sail boats.

Oasis docks at Crown Bay, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Stephanie and Julian enjoying the view
At another stop for refreshments. The Oasis is in the background
A stop half way up the mountain
I had booked a van from the U.S. for us to drive around and tour the island but after I made repeated phone calls to the local Budget Rent-a-Car after we arrived and did not get an answer, we decided to hire a driver with a van to chauffer us around.

After some haggling, the driver agreed to accept $150 to take us sightseeing. He would make stops at various locations including the Great House and Drake's Seat, Magens Bay Beach for a swim, downtown area for shopping before returning us to the ship.
Inside the Atlantis
Great view of our ship docking in Crown Bay
Lee at the Great House climbing the stairs to the observation deck
A pineapple grows in a pot
The vegetated ground at the Great House
This house has one heck of a view
Tour buses stop at Drake's Seat
On the observation deck, Magens Bay is below and to our left
Magens Bay Beach below
Christina, Jessica and Steve on the deck. 
Lee sunbathing
Magens Bay Beach
Jessica, Stephanie, Julian and Lee enjoying the water
The van then stopped at Magens Bay, one of the world's most famous beaches. The entire area around Magens Bay is preserved and visitors are charged $4 per person to help maintaining the beach.

This crescent-shaped beach is about a mile long and slopes gently down into the clear, blue and extremely calm water.

The day we were there, there were quite a few people near the beach entrance but there was almost no one at all just a few hundred yards away. We spent three hours here swimming and sun bathing.
We haven't vacationed together for a long time
Julian and Steve are enjoying it too
Lee posing on the beach. Not bad
Back on our ship and waiting for sunset on our balcony
Someone is having a destination wedding

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